Historically wrestling has had a checkered past with people of color specifically Black wrestlers in the business. While The Rock was arguably the biggest star of all time he was almost an anamoly. There has been a White wrestler being Akeem the Dream and Vince McMahon himself has been problematic.
He’s currently in his 15th season and destroying expectations of what being in your “prime” truly means as he’s had more milage put on his body than anyone currently in the league except Dirk Nowitzki. But it’s not all sunshine and daises if you’re associated with the King. The requirement for LeBron has been to win a championship ever year or that season is a totally failure, “chasing the ghost” he’s haunted with the fact that Jordan never lost on basketball’s biggest stage. And since James is seen by many as the “best basketball player in the world” means that it’s on his teammates to step it up and help him achieve his goal of competing for a championship.
His naiveté works as a creative. In My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy he explains he’s fighting for custody over his ‘inner child’. And in tons of interviews he compares his process as creating like an 8 or 10 year old. He’s made brilliant music this way but when speaking on real issues like slavery, mental or physical, and not being able to name a policy he agrees with Trump on he’s turned from someone who influenced an entire generation to someone who’s name is being used to justify dangerous racist ideologies.
There have been episodes that have turned to events.
When Chance The Rapper came to the show it was reminiscent of when Kanye West came to the Wild ’N Out stage, both received multiple Grammy awards and it was truly a great moment.
With Chance’s episode there was just an electric energy and that turned into an hour special.
With the Season 11 premiere Nick was able to revisit his childhood & his Nickelodeon beginnings where there was an All That Takeover including SNL’s Kenan Thompson surprise entrance.
With each generation there’s new hurdles but because of the work that has been laid before by the legends it makes it easier to walk through those doors and explore new options to push the boundaries from what was expected.
In Black Panther Killmonger has similar verbiage as his father in his motivation for wanting the throne of Wakanda, empower the oppressed with the resources Wakandans freely enjoy.
Martin Freeman’s character confidently proclaims repeatedly that Killmonger’s action are a direct result of training even going as far as saying “he’s one of us”.
Killmonger had a MIT schooling and went into the Navy Seals and an even more remote sect of that silently destabilizing regimes.
This felt like the perfect training to me and though Killmonger didn’t respect the traditions of the land and continued with violent outbursts the plan of liberating the oppressed sounded appealing to me.
I truly believe Death Row though fraught with controversy laid the groundwork that TDE now walks on as a $100M company with iconic artists making legendary music.
Now in the era of #NewLegends along with Drake and J Cole, Kendrick has a chokehold on the hip hop world and this film’s trust with TDE has paid off with the soundtrack about to hit #1 on Billboard 200 album charts.
Hip Hop is now Pop culture surpassing Rock & Roll as the most popular genre in the States.
With Eminem and Three Six Mafia each winning Academy Awards for their songs in films 8 Mile and Hustle and Flow it shows hip hop is here to stay and also that our soundtracks are just as valid as the dominant society.